Blinky (singer)

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Sondra "Blinky" Williams
Birth name Sondra Williams
Born (1944-05-21) May 21, 1944 (age 70)
Origin Los Angeles, California, United States
Genres R&B, Soul
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1952-present
Labels Vee-Jay, Atlantic, Motown, Reprise
Associated acts Edwin Starr, Andrae Crouch, Ashford & Simpson

Sondra "Blinky" Williams (born May 21, 1944 in Oakland, California[1]) is an American R&B and soul singer-songwriter.

Early life[edit]

Williams was born in Oakland, California,[1] but later grew up in Los Angeles. The daughter of a pastor, she was active in church choirs since the age of six.

Career[edit]

She recorded the album "Hark The Voice" on Atlantic Records, then moved to Motown where she recorded (as "Blinky") five singles including her debut, the Ashford & Simpson penned single "I Wouldn't Change The Man He Is," (a song reportedly written about Lovin' Spoonful studio bass player James Killingsworth) in 1968, and thought she would find success when she recorded a duet album with Edwin Starr entitled "Just We Two" on the heels of his "Twenty-Five Miles".

However, they did not get the push that either the Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell or the Supremes-Temptations duets did, and success again eluded her when, after becoming a protégé of Sammy Davis, Jr., his deal with the label fell through.

She is also credited with singing the theme for the 1970s TV series Good Times, along with Jim Gilstrap.

Later career[edit]

Her version of God Bless The Child appears on the album Rock Gospel: The Key To The Kingdom and her recording of 'Tain't Nobody's Biz-ness if I Do is on the soundtrack of Lady Sings The Blues, the Billie Holiday bio-pic starring Diana Ross. Unfortunately, most of her solo work, save for a few singles, remains unreleased. She can be heard live on the Motortown Revue Live! CD.

In addition, she was one of the original Cogic Singers, with Andre Crouch, Sandra Crouch, Billy Preston, Edna Wright (lead singer of The Honey Cone), Frankie Karl, and Gloria Jones. Following her non-success with Motown, she returned to gospel music and resumed her given name.

On October 31, 2009, Sondra appeared as a backup singer, along with Sharon Jones, performing The Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street" as part of the rock band Phish's musical costume at their Festival 8, which was held at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio, CA from 10/30/09 through 11/1/09.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bill Dahl (12 October 2001). Motown: the golden years. Krause Publications. p. 339. ISBN 978-0-87349-286-7.